Growing and Evolving with Kush Queen

By: Angela Viesti

Looking back on cannabis in California during the pre-Prop 64 era feels like reminiscing on childhood. So much has changed so quickly and it seems worlds away from where we are now.

Before the Green Rush began, when the cannabis industry was the cannabis community, prior to adult-use and CBD rescheduling, there was a small collective of pioneers willing to put their names and faces out in the public to stand up for cannabis patients and the victims of the war on drugs, many of them members of or loved ones of members belonging to one or both groups.

One of those trailblazers was Kush Queen’s founder and CEO, Olivia Alexander, someone whose influence and support continues to impact my life and career since meeting her in 2016.

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We met synchronistically one March evening in Venice, CA, at an open house of sorts for Elevate LA, an organization whose efforts were aimed at reforming cannabis laws in the city of Los Angeles.

We discussed what it was like being Millennial women in a space largely inhabited at the time by men and older generations. We agreed that change was required and would be inevitable. It was important to both of us that the mainstream understood, cannabis was medicine. That those whose suffering ignited the Compassionate Use Act and those behind bars for touching the plant were included and had a voice in the evolution of cannabis.

She had plans to grow her feminism-focused cannabis lifestyle brand, Kush Queen, and turn Crystal Cult, the business that catapulted her into entrepreneurship, into something bigger.

We exchanged contact information and soon after she reached out to see if I was interested in working Crystal Cult and Kush Queen’s booth at Compassesh, a gathering that allowed cannabis consumption under Prop 215, which was my first cannabis gig ever.

Over the next few months we worked together at events for Elevate LA, Crystal Cult, and Kush Queen, including Chalice Festival in 2016. By the end of that summer I was blogging for Olivia’s media channel, The Budd, which sparked my renewed interest in writing and was my first paid writing opportunity.

Over the next year and a half a lot changed in our lives and within the cannabis space. Shortly after Prop 64 was approved by California voters, Kush Queen became an official cannabis brand, launching their THC- and CBD-infused bath bombs into dispensaries across the state. I dove into working and navigating the grey area between the approval of Prop 64 and the official start of adult-use sales in California through various roles with cannabis brands and organizations.

After major shifts on both our ends, we found ourselves reconnected in the summer of 2018 when I reached out to her about bringing Kush Queen to an event hosted by Positive Vibes Cancer Foundation and the stars aligned for us to work together again.

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The brand was evolving and there were ample opportunities to collaborate. I got to know the Kush Queen team and felt at home in an environment where high vibes, creativity, innovation, and happy, healthy employees were paramount. I trusted the integrity of Kush Queen’s products because I was using them myself and always heard rave reviews from anyone I introduced to the brand. But it was the brand’s inclusive and socially responsible ethos that hit the high note for me. Kush Queen has supported cannabis patients, the LGBTQ community, victims of the devastating California wildfires, POC-run grassroots organizations and so many others. All of this, despite reluctance from many corporations to even receive donations from cannabis companies, and with no signs of slowing.

In the fall of 2018 I became a regular contributor to the Kush Queen blog, an affiliate of the brand, and a part-time brand ambassador.

With so many new celebrity-owned brands hitting the market, countless so-called-experts emerging, and established mainstream companies jumping on the CBD and cannabis bandwagons, it can be challenging to discern a quality product from effective marketing. The long standing history in the cannabis space and continued efforts to change the paradigm in cannabis from what was once a mostly male dominated industry to what is now becoming a corporate rat race is what sets Olivia, and the Kush Queen team, apart from the newcomers. It’s my personal policy to only promote brands I believe in and work with companies whose founders I align with and few are as fitting as Kush Queen and Olivia Alexander.

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If you are loving your Kush Queen products, we want to know! Don’t forget to follow and tag @kushqueenshop and @kushqueenco in your Instagram posts and stories!

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Previously on Shenk

From vintage retail to cannabis, comedy, and wellness, the recent episodes of Shenk cover a wide array of topics. With so much to choose from, there’s definitely an episode for everyone. Here are some of our recent favorite episodes of Shenk.

‘Slobby Robby’ from Netflix’s ‘Slobby’s World’ sits down with host and comedian Sara Weinshenk to talk about his love for all things Eighties and Nineties vintage. In this exhilarating conversation, Slobby proves that fashion doesn’t have to be just for the ultra-wealthy and keeps us laughing along the way. Slobby talks about his love for retro collectibles and how he enjoys exploring thrift shops in search of treasures for his store, in Tucson, ‘Generation Cool’. His favorite vintage collectibles include everything from vintage ‘Mr. T’ merchandise to retro Louis Vuitton. In this episode, Slobby touches on the importance of color theory in fashion, gives some fashion tips for all the basic bros out there, and reminds listeners about the value of quality over quantity. He also recaps his run-in with Celine Dion in Las Vegas and his recent trip to Sedona, which are both hilarious.

Listen to this episode of Slobby on Shenk. Follow Slobby on Instagram @slobbyrobby and make sure to check out Netflix’s ‘Slobby’s World’.

According to Weinshenk, one of her favorite things to do is to choose what Kush Queen products to gift her guests. Shenk and Kush Queen gifted Robby with the Relax CBD bath bomb since he was in LA to restock his store. Such a great way to help him de-stress during travel.

When asked what Kush Queen product she couldn’t live without, host Sara Weinshenk said that the Kush Queen Shield for Immunity bath bomb saved her life this flu season, “After comedy shows, I’m constantly meeting people and shaking hands with strangers, the immunity bath bomb has definitely saved me from missing days of work”.

In another one of our favorite episodes, Shenk welcomes Abdullah Saeed to the podcast. Saeed is a cannabis advocate who is known for his work on Viceland’s ‘Bong Appetit’ & Weediquette. He can also be seen in the latest season of HBO’s ‘High Maintenance’. Sara sits down with Abdullah to talk about his journey in cannabis and comedy. Saeed and Shenk bond over their mutual hatred of the always-polyester uniform shirts that they were required to wear throughout their elementary school days.

Listen to this episode of Saeed on Shenk. Follow Abduallah on Instagram @imyourkid and make sure to check him out on HBO’s High Maintenance.

In one of the most recent episodes of Shenk, Sara is joined by Stephanie Simbari, Co-host of Wellness podcast, That’s So Retrograde. The girls talk about Stephanie’s wellness journey and the benefits of self-care.  Simbari’s podcast explores everything wellness including nutrition, spirituality, clean beauty and consciousness. Stephanie also recommended some of her favorite wellness books and shared some of the life-hacks she’s learned on her path towards a healthier more meaningful life. They also talk about the world of comedy and their Wi Spa adventures. Simbari explained that one of her favorite self-care practices is baths, so gifting her the ‘awaken’ CBD bath bomb was the perfect fit. Simbari defined her personal style as “streamlined eclectic” and the girls shared their early misconceptions about what it means to be a “comedian”.

Listen to this episode of Simbari on Shenk. Follow Simbari on Instagram @ssimbari and make sure to check her out on the That’s So Retrograde podcast.


Follow Sara Weinshenk & @princessshenk for Stand Up Comedy Tour Dates.

New Episodes of Shenk are released every Wednesday.

Subscribe, Rate and Review Shenk on  iTunes, Spotify or Stitcher.

Consent is Sexy

By: Ben Mervis

As a walking-talking Kush Queen billboard, I spend a lot of time talking about topicals. I share my elation over post-workout relief from a Soaked + Melt; I attribute my new and improved complexion to Defynt, and I have some seriously fun conversations about sex and consent regarding our Ignite lubricant.

Hold on, why consent?

For starters, because Consent should always be part of the conversation. Always.

And also because the Ignite lubricant delivers an extremely effective dose of THC or CBD to some of our most absorbent “parts.”

About 30-45 seconds after application, you’re likely going to feel something. Odds are it’s going to be a good something; I haven’t heard a BAD Ignite story yet.

The fact remains that if you’re incorporating cannabis, it’s going to affect your body – often by increasing sensation via increased blood flow – and with those physical changes, our feelings might change about what is on the sexually proverbial menu.

So how are you defining consent?

After four years at a college that was fairly progressive on the topic, I went on to work with public health experts, many who focused on sexual risk factors facing LGBT young adults. From my own experience, I’d highlight the pillars of consent as the following:

  • In order to grant consent, you must first establish mental presence.

    As a brand made for adults, I won’t patronize this audience about confirming mental acuity, but check in with your partner and ask something as simple and sexy as, “how are you feeling? “

  • Consent should be explicit – it cannot be assumed or interpreted

    Consent to blow on someone’s neck is different from consent to nibble

    Consent to do something “extra” one time, five years ago, does not mean consent to do it again now

  • Consent may change at any time

    Never be afraid to say “I’m not enjoying that right now/anymore”

Is cannabis lube for me?

Oh, honey, it’s for everyone honey.

Ignite is an intimate/personal lubricant. It can be used on your own, or with your partner(s). Because it’s water-based, Ignite can be used with toys and condoms, and won’t mess with your pH. That water-base also aids in your body’s ability to absorb the nanoparticles of THC or CBD.”

My disclaimer – again – when incorporating cannabis into your sex life, is that regardless of how much experience you have smoking/vaping/consuming edibles, your comfort level can change at any time. Whenever we elevate ourselves for a mind high or body high, even the most seasoned consumers need to check in with ourselves, and whoever we’re with.

Put that into context with sex and lube, and you understand the importance of affirming consent for certain activities. Consent is sexy!

Important times to discuss consent when incorporating cannabis

  • Understanding and agreeing

    to use the cannabis product and the effects you’re looking for from it.

    CBD often results in a major increase in blood flow and sensation.

    THC usually results in a body high for both partners, with a mild head high akin to a low-dose edible using just a couple of pumps, with greater efficacy through application to mucus membrane… which leads me to…

  • Where you’re going to apply it

    Think absorption, feeling a pulse, movement, friction, and mucus membrane.

  • Checking In

    with yourself or your partner(s) about 1-minute after application, about how each partner is feeling, excitement to try new things, to slow things down, to incorporate other senses like temperature sensitivity, which changes with increased blood flow. (think: a brisk breeze on warm skin.)

    Remember, you can always add more, and it takes effect QUICKLY, so this part of consent often includes the final question: “should we use more?”

This is why I often refer to Ignite as a great foreplay lube : because it’s a great time to gauge consent without the stopping to talk thing feeling weird.

There are so many nuances to sex, and Ignite by Kush Queen makes a great addition to anyone’s nightstand drawer. Ignite is WATER-BASED, so it is condom and toy safe.

Enjoy sexual activity because you want to, not because someone else wants you to – be responsible – and don’t forget to stay hydrated!

Follow and tag us in your instagram posts and stories at @kushqueenshop and @kushqueenco.

Feeling FOMO? Shop Kush Queen Ignite Lubricant below!

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